Posted by: Matt | May 23, 2007

Of Ops and Mounts

I’ve got a couple more mini-reviews. I’ve been plowing through the shorter books recently. Today we have:

Red HarvestRed Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. This book was written in 1929 by the author of The Maltese Falcon. An operative from the Continental Detective Agency has been called to Poisonville to meet with the editor of the local newspaper who is attempting to clean up the crime invested city. The newspaper man is gunned down before they can meet. The Continental op takes the case, but upon solving the crime decides his work isn’t done. He is going to single handedly clean up the town. This is a fun book. It has everything you’d expect in classic crime fiction. A mysterious woman, murder, a corrupt town, gunplay and a tough detective. In addition, I discovered that the slang terms “gat” (gun) and “capped” (to have been shot) are much older than I thought.

Rating: 4.0

The MountThe Mount by Carol Emshwiller. Humans have become mounts. Small, weak legged aliens called Hoots have taken over Earth and use humans like horses. Charley is proud of being the mount for the Future-Ruler-Of-Us-All until his father frees him from a Hoot town taking him, and his Hoot, to a small village of free humans in the mountains. There Charley learns what it is to be free and to be human. The story is written in a very distinct, almost childlike, style. I am not sure whether the simple style is a result of the 13 year old Charley being the central character or if there is another reason. At first, I wasn’t a fan but I quickly grew to appreciate it. It certainly makes for a quick read. This is sort of a coming of age story and is touching in it’s own unique way. Another fun read.

Rating: 4.0



  1. I’ve got to get around to reading Hammet one of these days. I’ve been interested in Carol Emshwiller but haven’t managed to pick up any of her books. Have you read any other of her books?

  2. Oh Stefanie, you’ve got to read Hammett his books are so much fun.

    Howdy Matt, I’m popping in because of Dewey’s new blogroll game. Red Harvest is one of my favourite Hammett novels — I’ve read all of them except The Dain Curse which simply wasn’t up the others’ standard so I never bothered to finish it. I mean to watch the film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon one of these days.

  3. Stefanie – Haven’t read any of Emshwiller’s other books, I chose this one to read first because it seemed to be the most highly thought of. I’m not even sure what her other novels are about….

    imani – Thanks for the visit! I’ve definitely got Hammett down on the authors to read again list. My next will probably be The Maltese Falcon, probably should watch it also!

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